Monday, October 23, 2023

Especially on Gaza, Prescient



As long as Joe Walsh says he agrees with "every single word that Hillary Clinton spoke here," let's go the videotape to unveil her entire statement.


In a primary debate on April 14, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Senator Bernard "Bernie" Sanders"

Senator, let’s talk about the U.S. relationship with Israel. Senator Sanders, you maintained that Israel’s response in Gaza in 2014 was, quote, “disproportionate and led to the unnecessary loss of innocent life.” What do you say to those who believe that Israel has a right to defend itself as it sees fit?"

Sanders agreed that Israel had a right to defend itself (bold!) but asserted that the Israeli attack was indeed "disproportionate."  The argument (with the applicable remark in italics and bold) continued

Blitzer: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, do you agree with Senator Sanders that Israel overreacts to Palestinians attacks, and that in order for there to be peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel must, quote, "end its disproportionate responses"?

Clinton: I negotiated the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in November of 2012. I did it in concert with President Abbas of the Palestinian authority based in Ramallah, I did it with the then Muslim Brotherhood President, Morsi, based in Cairo, working closely with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli cabinet. I can tell you right now I have been there with Israeli officials going back more than 25 years that they do not seek this kind of attacks. They do not invite the rockets raining down on their towns and villages.

They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas aided and abetted by Iran against Israel. And, so when it came time after they had taken the incoming rockets, taken the assaults and ambushes on their soldiers and they called and told me, I was in Cambodia, that they were getting ready to have to invade Gaza again because they couldn't find anybody to talk to tell them to stop it, I flew all night, I got there, I negotiated that.

So, I don't know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist attacks, rockets coming at you. You have a right to defend yourself.

That does not mean that you don't take appropriate precautions. And, I understand that there's always second-guessing anytime there is a war. It also does not mean that we should not continue to do everything we can to try to reach a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians the rights and the autonomy that they deserve. And, let me say this, if Yasser Arafat had agreed with my husband at Camp David in the late 1990s to the offer then Prime Minister [Ehud] Barak put on the table, we would have had a Palestinian state for 15 years.

Blitzer: Thank you, go ahead, Senator.

Sanders: I don't think that anybody would suggest that Israel invites and welcomes missiles flying into their country. That is not the issue.

And, you evaded the answer. You evaded the question. The question is not does Israel have a right to respond, nor does Israel have a right to go after terrorists and destroy terrorism. That's not the debate. Was their response disproportionate?

I believe that it was, you have not answered that.

Clinton: I will certainly be willing to answer it. I think I did answer it by saying that of course there have to be precautions taken but even the most independent analyst will say the way that Hamas places its weapons, the way that it often has its fighters in civilian garb, it is terrible.

I'm not saying it's anything other than terrible. It would be great -- remember, Israel left Gaza. They took out all the Israelis. They turned the keys over to the Palestinian people.

And what happened? Hamas took over Gaza. So instead of having a thriving economy with the kind of opportunities that the children of the Palestinians deserve, we have a terrorist haven that is getting more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere.

Later in the transaction, Sanders would note "There comes a time- there comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all the time." Clinton had never suggested or implied that the Israeli prime minister was right all the time, but Sanders' words should reverberate when he recognize the role of Netanyahu's self-centered, possibly even corrupt, leadership, that helped enable Hamas to commit the massacre of 10/7/23 massacre.

The Vermont senator remarked also "all that I am saying we cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue." However, as recent events have demonstrated, there is only one side and, if anything, American foreign policy 

As recent issues have demonstrated, there are not the two sides- Israel and the Palestinians/Hamas- which Sanders thought there were. There are three sides- Israel, Hamas, and the Palestinians who are not part of the ruthless terrorist group ruling Gaza. Clinton obviously understood this when recommended the USA

continue to do everything we can to reach a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians the rights and... the autonomy that they deserve. And let me say this,if Yasser Arafat had agreed with my husband at Camp David in the 1990s to the offer then-Prime Minister Barat (sic) put on the table, we would have had a Palestinian state for 15 years.

When "Israel left Gaza," the then-Secretary of State explained, "they took out all the Israelis. They turned the keys over to the Palestinian people" and now "we have a terrorist haven that is getting more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere."

That's the current situation- laid out over seven years ago- in a nutshell. And prior to the Middle East, Clinton had been asked about the reliance upon the USA of funding for NATO and replied

.... we have to work out the financial aspects of it, but let’s not forget what’s really happening. With Russia being more aggressive, making all kinds of intimidating moves toward the Baltic countries, we’ve seen what they’ve done in Eastern Ukraine, we know how they want to rewrite the map of Europe, it is not in our interests. Think of how much it would cost if Russia’s aggression were not deterred because NATO was there on the front lines making it clear they could not move forward.

In the 2016 primary, I voted for Sanders over Clinton, for reasons completely unrelated to foreign policy. Moreover, Clinton never actually has claimed to be psychic. But she evidently understood, better than Senator Sanders and President Obama, the threat posed by Vladimir Putin's Russia. And on the matter of Palestinians, the terrorist subset known as Hamas, and of Israel, she told us in 2016 what was going on. It's not only unfortunate but dangerous that even now, so many people across the world cannot see, or refuse to see, what she saw then.



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